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Making Cancer, and Making It Worse

On Pharyngula, PZ Myers says that cancer, unlike an infectious bacterium or virus, is not the product of millions of years of evolution. Instead, PZ writes, “Cancer misuses and perverts existing processes in your cells to send them out of control.” But what causes cancer? Well, it happens about 20,000 times a day in your…

The U.S. “war on drugs,” besides failing to meet its goals, has demonstrated a stubborn ignorance of the effects that different drugs have in the human body. Granted, some drugs cause inevitable degeneration and deserve to be outlawed. Opiates such as heroin and stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine can take a harsh physical toll…

A True Description of the Universe?

Ethan wrote a very interesting post about parallel universes.  That got me thinking, and thinking some more.  In fact I’ve been thinking about this for nine years.  So forgive me as it starts to make some sense to me, and read the following with a pinch of salt. Time is not the 4th dimension.  Time,…

Spoiler Alert: Riddick

After thirteen years and three films, it’s still hard to know what to think about Richard B. Riddick.  No one calls him Dick.  His luminescent mother-of-pearl cat’s eyes allow him to see in the dark, when they’re not protected by an iconic pair of black welding goggles.  He is very talented at killing people and…

Sierra Nevada Species: Garter Snake

I found this beautiful snake basking in barely flowing water at an elevation of about 5800′ in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. At first I thought it was a striped racer, but racers have two light stripes on their sides, while this one has a light stripe down the middle of its back and…

Following last week’s post about Windows phone and the incredible Nokia Lumia 1020, I wanted to share some images to show what the camera phone is capable of.  These are 5 megapixel images taken straight from the phone.  Click any below for full-size.

There Are No Saviors, Only Teachers

In our capitalist, conspicuously consumptive, greedily go-getting society, teaching has always been disrespected as a vocational pursuit.  They quip “those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”  Meanwhile the public education system in the United States suffers from neglect, indifference, and outright enmity.  The most powerful nation on Earth can only claim to be mediocre…

Spoiler Alert: Elysium

If you have the time, money, and interest, go see Elysium before you read this post.  The visual design and actors’ performances are very enjoyable even as the script sinks into mediocrity.  The technology envisioned for the year 2154 has a unique, appealing, retro physicality that is unmatched in modern science fiction. For writer and…

Life and Lunar Influence

Posted to the homepage on August 11, 2013. The Moon—like the sun, stars and Earth—is easy for a human being to take for granted.  But the Earth’s moon is truly exceptional, and should be appreciated for shaping the exceptional world we live on.  Earth is the only planet with a single moon, and relative to…

Windows Phone Is Actually Awesome

Windows takes a lot of crap from fanboys, and Apple products do the same, but while our prejudices can be well-founded it’s always worth taking an honest look at the opposition.  With its Windows Phone mobile OS, Microsoft has built a very fun and functional platform that in some ways exceeds the user experience of…